After he lost weight and looked haggard, Malaysian-born locally-based actor Huang Wenyong said he had chronic stomach flu.
Only when news broke of his death on Saturday did many find out that the 60-year-old had been suffering from cancer.
As his family, friends and fans mourned the loss of the veteran actor on Sunday, his good friend, actor Chen Guohua, revealed why Huang had kept his medical condition a secret.
"Wenyong told very few people about it. Many of his friends, colleagues and even higher-ups in his company didn't know what he was suffering from," Chen, 52, told The New Paper at Huang's wake on Sunday's night.
"But that's him. He's a very caring person who wanted to go through this by himself. He didn't want people to worry for him." Chen, who had known Huang for 27 years, said he was one of the few people who was privy to Huang's condition.
Huang left behind his wife, a 26-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter.
According to reports, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, last November.
Huang had, many times in the last seven months, reassured his fans and friends via media reports that he was fine and was suffering from a bad bout of stomach flu.
Chen said Huang's close-knit group of friends had urged him to go for a check-up after they noticed that he had been losing weight.
"The few of us who started acting together back in the 80s, we call ourselves the seniors gang, were the few that Wenyong first voiced his concerns to in the middle of last year," he said.
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